Most men are born without a gift-wrapping gene. It must have been housed in that rib the Bible says we gave away to make women although, last time I counted, we both have 24, 12 on each side. Still, there must be something about having a Y chromosome that makes it impossible for us to grasp the intricacies of folding paper neatly around a box.
I think that’s why most men would prefer to give lumps of coal every Christmas, not because we’re Scrooges or because we don’t like the person we’re gifting, but because they’re easy to wrap. You set the lump of coal in the middle of a square of wrapping paper, pull all four corners of the paper together at the top, twist it, tie it with string or ribbon to keep it closed and, presto, you’ve got a perfectly wrapped lump of coal.
And speaking of lumps of coal, how frustrating is it guys to shell out a major wad of money to give your wife or girlfriend a piece of jewelry with a diamond (a lump of coal under extreme pressure, just like us) only to hand it to her in wrapping that looks like it was done by a malfunctioning hay baler?
Let’s face it. Most guys are gift wrapping impaired. I know our wives accuse us of just using that as an excuse to hand off all the wrapping duties this time of the year to them but I’m convinced that men just aren’t wired for it. If we were we’d have brought home our woolly mammoth kills with a nice bow on top.
I think that’s part of the problem. Men are just perplexed over the need for wrapping something up in the first place, even if it is a gift. Most things this season come in so much packaging already that plastic explosives to open them have joined batteries as the necessities to have on hand at Christmas.
I mean why spend 20 minutes neatly measuring and folding wrapping paper around a box then tying it up with pretty ribbon and topping it off with an animated origami nativity scene complete with farm animals only to hand it to someone who, within 2.5 nanoseconds, is going to reduce it to landfill fill? And then, of course, it’s going to take them another hour to get into the actual box, unless they stocked up on plastic explosives.
I’m convinced that God’s gift to man was not woman (who came unwrapped, by the way) but the gift bag. Now there’s a great invention. Just make your gift purchase, find a gift bag big enough to drop it into, shove some tissue paper on top just to create the illusion of mystery and hand it over. No folding, spindling or mutilating. But you’ll still probably need plastic explosives to get into the box.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.